New Delhi, Feb 1: BJP ally RLSP today announced that it will not contest the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the party chief and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha in this regard.
A RLSP spokesperson said Modi made a request to Kushwaha in a meeting yesterday after the latter had announced that his party will fight polls in the state. The Bihar-based regional party had earlier decided to fight elections in an alliance with small UP outfits in areas where other backward caste voters were in strong numbers.
It had announced that it will fight on 80 of the 403 seats and declared names of several candidates as well. The spokesperson said they will be now asked to withdraw from the race. Sources said RLSP wanted BJP to concede a few seats to it in the state but the saffron party declined asserting that it has little base in the state.
However, at a time when BJP is locked in a tough triangular fight involving SP-Congress alliance and BSP it believed that loss of even fraction of votes could be important, prompting the top brass to reach out to Kushwaha. BJP is working to consolidate non-Yadav OBC voters in its favour and RLSP was eyeing the same segment of population.